Two Minute Review: The Violinist of Venice by Alyssa Palombo

Thursday, July 27, 2017
Title: The Violinist of Venice
Author: Alyssa Palombo
Genre: historical fiction
Series: N/A
Pages: 448
Published: December 15 2015
Source: purchased
Rating: 4/5

A sweeping historical novel of composer and priest Antonio Vivaldi, a secret wealthy mistress, and their passion for music and each other

Like most 18th century Venetians, Adriana d'Amato adores music-except her strict merchant father has forbidden her to cultivate her gift for the violin. But she refuses to let that stop her from living her dreams and begins sneaking out of her family's palazzo under the cover of night to take violin lessons from virtuoso violinist and composer Antonio Vivaldi. However, what begins as secret lessons swiftly evolves into a passionate, consuming love affair.

Adriana's father is intent on seeing her married to a wealthy, prominent member of Venice's patrician class-and a handsome, charming suitor, whom she knows she could love, only complicates matters-but Vivaldi is a priest, making their relationship forbidden in the eyes of the Church and of society. They both know their affair will end upon Adriana's marriage, but she cannot anticipate the events that will force Vivaldi to choose between her and his music. The repercussions of his choice-and of Adriana's own choices-will haunt both of their lives in ways they never imagined.

Spanning more than 30 years of Adriana's life, Alyssa Palombo's The Violinist of Venice is a story of passion, music, ambition, and finding the strength to both fall in love and to carry on when it ends.

Evocative, atmospheric and engaging, The Violinist of Venice is an excellent 18th century historical fiction set in one of the world's most unique cities. With a dramatic story that encompasses the brilliance of Vivaldi, violins, an omnipresent Baroque atmosphere, and ill-fated romance, Alyssa Palombo's debut novel is one to relish for fans of the genre. The pacing can stagnate at times but the picturesque locale and the author's talent for description make the story of Adriana d'Amato one to remember.

Music and independence are two of the biggest themes of the The Violinist of Venice and for the life of its main character. Adriana has little personal choice in anything that happens before and after marriage; her impulsive affair with Antonio Vivaldi is her one small moment of rebellion, of personal choice for herself. It combines two of the things forbidden her that she most wants: love and music. Though scandalous, though against expectation, Adriana's decision makes sense for her life and the person she is. Though the book covers much more than the romance between the priest (yeeep) and Adriana - it spans thirty years of her life - the relationship between the two of them impacts all others in her life.

 Highly recommended -- [if only so that someone else can understand the romance of Vivaldi anonymously serenading Adri when they knew their love was doomed].

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